By the time I finally got to my hotel, it was after 8pm already, and I was tired from a long day. Managed to resist ordering room service, and fortunately there was a “sports bar” across the street that TripAdvisor said served reasonable pizzas. They also had their own craft beer, which was surprisingly good:
The upside of having two nights in Vanuatu is it meant another country I’d get the opportunity to dive in…however, that meant getting up early. Based on online reviews I paid a little extra for a “panorama view room” and it was well worth it in the morning to have a 270 degree+ view of the harbour. The Grand Hotel and Casino was well-located, and a good choice. Comfortable, cool, and clean, my three basic requirements as well as a decent location:
…and THIS is how you get ants:
Since I had the whole day and wasn’t flying until later the following day, I had the whole day to go diving. I chose Big Blue since they appeared to be the largest operator in Port Vila, and were willing to do a hotel pick-up. They changed the plan the day before, and said they’d send a boat to pick me up at the jetty next to my hotel. Cool! It was about 15 minutes late, but hey, island time!
First two dives were wreck dives, the first being the deepest dive I’ve ever done going straight down to 140 feet before gradually swimming up the wreck:
It’s dark down at 140 feet…
Note the deep blue…the deeper you get the darker it gets….
The second wreck was a bit shallower, but was a swim-through with plenty to see:
Cool coral-encrusted ladder:
Some of the kitchenware from the ship still sitting around:
After the two morning dives we headed back to shore, where there was the Nambawan Cafe right next to the dive shop. The local Vanuatu language is a pidgen, and often if you sound out the words you can figure out where they came from. Nambawan Cafe? Nam-ba-wan…Number One! Hahaha!
Delicious steak sandwich for lunch:
…I may have been bad and given into the coconut pie with ice cream, because the woman working there told me it was excellent and she baked it herself that morning. She was right, yum!
Back out after lunch for one more reef dive. Lots of great fish, but I was just enjoying taking it in and didn’t take a whole ton of pics. A couple cool ones though:
Giant sea cucumber…note how big it is in relation to my hand…was a creepy feeling. I probably have some exotic disease now, lol…
Great day of diving, and although it meant I’d have two less days in the Solomon Islands, the diving in Vanuatu more than made up for it.
After cleaning up, I wandered the town for a couple of hours, and grabbed a beer at a cafe one of the guys in the dive shop recommended as the best place to catch sunset in Port Vila. He wasn’t kidding:
There was a restaurant near the hotel which was recommended by TripAdvisor, and they had a three course offer, including a glass of wine, which was pretty reasonable. Tasty ceasar salad, chicken satay pizza. Mmmm….
Diving always makes me tired, and I think I passed out before 9pm. I had a nice relaxing morning before heading off to the airport to fly…finally…to the Solomon Islands!